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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 16, 2013 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is bbc world news america, reporting from washington. islam militants in algeria raid a gas plant, taking dozens hostage. americans are among them. president obama proposes the toughest gun laws in decades. getting them passed will be difficult. >> this is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. this is how we will be judged. >> answering the detractors. kathryn bigelow filed by two critics of the torture scenes. -- kathryn bigelow talks by two critics of the torture -- talks
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back to critics of the torture scenes. dozens of hostages, including several americans, are reported to have been conducted by islamist militants in algeria. the raid took place saigon -- i've gone. the kidnappers are demanding an end to the french military operation. >> at a remote who gas plant in ontario, -- of syria, jihadists militants arrive in jeeps, and to people are reported to have been killed -- in algeria, jihadists militants arrived in
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jeeps, and two people are reported to have been killed. he has made millions smuggling across the borders. it has triggered a series of crisis meetings in london, where the government emergency meeting has been convened three times during the day. the number of british hostages is thought to be in single digits. >> it took place in the eastern part of algeria at an oil compound with oil workers. a number of people are held hostage. this does include british nationals, and it is a dangerous situation. >> the u.s. state department confirms americans are among the hostages. >> we are monitoring the situation. we are in contact with authorities and diplomatic counterparts as well as the security office in london. >> this hostage crisis is focusing right across whitehall.
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what is not clear is what exactly are the kidnappers motives, because this boils down to two possibilities. is this about money? or is it about politics? the french military's actions to push back rebels linked to al qaeda has led to threats of retaliation. this could be part of the retaliation, or it could have been planned weeks ago. algeria and several other countries are faced with an unexpected hostage standoff they will try to resolve without bloodshed. >> for more on the kidnappings and the fallout, rick nelson served at the national counter- terrorism center. these foreigners who have been
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arrested in all due regard, some of them are americans. do we know if this is for political reasons? could it also be for money perhaps? >> it could be for both. out kind of operations -- al qaeda operations have made a big business out of ransom. i think this particular incident is because of the attacks against militants inside of mali, and the pressure is stepping up on their organizations. they are fighting back as we would expect. >> when the french launched the assault against the rebels on --iday of last week, when s there was a media statement that there would be retaliation, so i guess we have been expecting this kind of thing, right now? >> the organization has been geographically isolated for some time, but we have seen instances
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where the group has expanded its capabilities in the last couple years with an influx of weapons from libya, the money from kidnapping for ransom, the collapse of the government in was time for the international community to react, and we got the response we would expect. >> the americans seem to be suggesting the rebels crossed the red line but that they do not pose a threat to americans. that is what i was hearing from the white house yesterday. do you think what happened in algeria might change the equation? >> the organization is not threatening the united states proper, but it is threatening united states interests, and we are seeing there are u.s. citizens being held hostage along with international friends, so the interests are
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something we will protect. i think it is good to see the european union take a lead on operations like this, because it is closer. >> can an organization like out how kind of threats and -- wipe out al quaeda threat in the region? >> we are never going to wipe it out. the question is if we can keep it out a localized threat. that is the best we can do. >> president obama is proposing the most radical change to america's gun laws in two decades and putting them in- house coalition course. mr. obama said this is the time to act, but the gun lobby organization the nra dismissed the plan as an attack on firearms. mark has the story.
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>> the massacre of these 26 innocencts has changed the mood of the nation according to the president. youngsters urged him to change the law. he needs to bring the heart strings of his country to challenge gun culture. >> americans from every background can stand up and say we have suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue. in change will come. >> he signed a 23 orders, mostly small-scale, mainly tightening existing legislation. real change will need new laws, which many in congress will oppose. the new gun controls would mean a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons, a limit to the number of all with a magazine can hold, and i wrote checks for everyone buying a gun. >> are the president's kids more
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important than yours? >> the national rifle association has put out of hard- hitting advert. the white house has called this repugnant and cowardly, but it is the sentiment you will hear at gun shows like this one in indiana. now people tell me they are good for killing a man and fun to shoot. they believe spending them will be hurting basic freedom. >> we feel like we are being penalized for the mistakes of a few. we feel like the second amendment has given us the right to bear arms, and we feel like we are under attack by politicians who have fought a 24-hour security and protection, but we do not. >> they would say chicago, just over 100 miles away, proves their point. tough laws do not stop nightly killings.
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the sheer horror of newtown focused the eyes of america and gun laws, but this is the reality. last year 506 people were shot dead in this city. the father of two was one of last year's victims. no one knows why he was killed. his mother has a plea for politicians. >> come out and help us. i do not have peace. it has been eight months for me. why is this happening? help us. >> the president says the new laws will help. he has taken on a fight that goes to the heart of america's identity. >> so many families who have lost loved ones to gun violence while the push for greater gun- control is the topic of the special report titled the gunfighters. joining us is michael crowley. i want to start with a poll you
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conducted as part of this special report. 62% of americans do not think that tougher laws would actually stem the tide of gun violence in the country. >> that is right. it is not unrealistic of a position to hold. there are huge numbers of guns in american households. it is an open question as to what can be done, so i think there is an intellectually honest position one could take the some of the proposals will not help. at the same time there is higher public support for the measures of the sort the president is advocating today, and i think the president has moved more than they have in other past tragedies, but i think the particulars of this one, the fact there were so many children killed have created a climate on
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like what we have seen. >> people do not think gun laws are going to do much to stop violence. >> it is not illogical. >> it is part of the problem congressional leaders face if they want to do something about it. >> the entire country is divided. we found it was 55% of the country supports taking new action. it is not that high of a figure when you think about how horrible the tragedy was. i think some people might expect the number to be higher. there is a lot of talk about farming guns in schools and adding to the danger and risk out there. i would say of the people but say change will not help, and
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probably a great deal of them oppose gun control, so they are not going to help. of the people that support it, maybe there is some number that say it probably will not help so try it. there are people who say we should do it. >> is president obama managing to get anything through congress he said he wanted congress to pass to dave? >> you never know. i did not expect -- pass today? >> you never know. i do not expect him to make it a priority. i am skeptical of this. we have seen it so many times. there is not a lot of follow- through. he says the day of the new town massacre was the worst, and he feels like he needs to do something. the republican-controlled house of representatives have enough votes. the political reality of the
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vote says to me it is probably not real action in congress. >> a quick look at other news. suicide bombers have attacked a building belonging to the afghanistan spy agency. six insurgents were killed in the strike. at least 17 other people were injured. the taliban say they were behind the attack. in iraq 30 people have been killed and several others wounded in a series of attacks, the deadliest of which 20 people died north of baghdad. germany's central bank announced it will repatriate most of the gold leon it sent to vaults abroad for safety during the cold war. there were fears it would be captured in the event of a soviet invasion. the gold is worth $36 billion.
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in syria people were killed. the city is controlled by forces loyal to president assad. the government is keen to minimize the reach of the opposition, insisting there are no rebel forces in the center of damascus. our chief correspondent has found a rather different story. >> buying bread in the capital and can now take hours. as war intensified so do the hardships of daily life. this woman waited two hours. bread is still cheap. jews are shorter but prices 10 times higher. new -- queues are shorter but prices 10 times higher.
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one man who blamed his woes on the west. the government says there are no rebels in the center of damascus, but a short distance from a petrol station big guns on the street are in opposition hands. he says he commands the free syrian army. he takes us on a tour of the neighborhood. we are moving through a large neighborhood. fighters are openly carrying their guns. we are not being stopped by any government security people. fighters want to show us they are in control of the area, and they seem to be. in their offices he insists they can govern as well as fight. he tells me the fighting created a gap in government so who -- government resources, so we have
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to choose. local women are cooking for the poor. a makeshift detention center was set up in a local house. they say they are creating their own justice system. we are taken to see a judge. he does not want his voice heard. he is still working for the government. most shops are still shuttered here. many people have fled. there has been fierce fighting in the area and could be again. government forces are still in control, but as they waged war strategic battles to keep the capital, some places are slipping from their grasp. >> trouble in damascus for the syrian government. a fiery seen in the heart of london as a helicopter crash as to the ground during morning
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rush hour. there is a dramatic turn for the worse today for the boeing streamliner. japan's two biggest airlines grounded all of the 787 planes after an emergency landing. >> this will make part seat and boeing headquarters in chicago. 0 -- will make hearts sink at boeing headquarters in chicago. it was caught on camera by a japanese tv reporter who happen to be on board. in the end fire trucks were not needed and passengers all walked away unharmed, but smoke on board an aircraft in flight is always serious. that is why all nippon airways and japan air with have grounded air 787 until they can bee thoroughly checked. >> and all nippon airways flight
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has made an emergency landing after there was a problem. details are being checked, but we are not prepared to comment on any general problems that have surfaced. >> it is no exaggeration to say the 787 is the future of 08, but in the last week it has been hit by an unprecedented series of incidents. first an electric fire on board now of flight in boston. then a few late from another streamliner -- dreamliner the next day. one suffered a cracked windscreen, and now the latest emergency. experts insist none of the faults are fundamental and the 787 is still a very good plane, but with so many incidents in a short time, boeing has a lot of explaining to do to its customers.
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>> there was an alarming seen in central london today when a helicopter crashed after colliding with a crane during the morning rush hour. the pilot and one person on the ground were killed while 13 others were injured. according to officials it was a miracle things were not a lot worse. richard has the report. >> get out of the car. >> in the heart of london at the height of rush hour, a st. is engulfed in flames. this is burning fuel and wreckage from a helicopter that smashed into a busy road. but the helicopter has just come down. >> the early mornings guy who was cloaked in mist, but an army of workers watched the crash
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unfold. >> it seems like it was going to miss it. it smashed right into the crane and cut the cabin in half. >> within minutes an emergency operation had begun. the fire was distinguished, but the wreckage remains. >> this was as near as we were allowed to get, but you can get a sense of the chaos created when the helicopter hit the crane and came crashing down. >> two people died. the helicopter pilot and a passerby. others were injured, but senior officers say the consequences could have been more severe. >> given the time of day there could have been more people involved. it was probably miraculous there were not more. >> the helicopter pilot was named as he barnes. one witness told us it looks as
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if he spent his last moment trying to save lives. >> as he was coming through the train went past, and the helicopter driver must have steered out of the way of the tracks. as it came down, a train was coming across. >> the river is being controlled. the ground is being searched for clues, but this guy is the focus of the investigation and how a helicopter could be brought crashing into the london rush- hour. >> an extraordinary scene in the middle of london. now to a film that has drawn controversy. when zero dark 30 has already gotten a lot of box office success of five oscar nominations, but it seems to take to the use of torture has gotten a lot of criticism. -- it seems the use of torture has gotten a lot of criticism. kathryn bigelow sat down to talk
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about it. >> jessica just dain plays the hero. she is -- jessica chastain plays the hero. the script writer says it is based on actual events. >> we look at it as a first draft of history. this is the story that is debated, and i say it hopefully will continue to be debated. >> i am a bad news. i am not your friend. i am not going to help you. i am going to break you. >> the film is being hotly debated. some have criticized the depiction of interrogation, saying it sends a clear message torture yields results. others of the torture did not happen in the graphic and violent fashion shown. >> on the one hand you have people in the cia saying that did not happen. >> those images are out there.
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>> people in the military were behaving badly. it was not the cia. >> no question, but this is a very complex, and unfortunately, people are anxious for -- i get the impression of a black-and- white rendering of the events, and they want who -- the black side existed, and there is very little information about them, so that as a part of that history. to have omitted it would have been rewriting history. >> i think sensible people expressing deeply held concerns, in hindsight he wish a couple of
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lines or nuances -- >> i would not change it at all. i stand by it totally. i am very proud of it. i do not remember this conversation being as a cute -- accute, and i think it is a testament to the power of the medium that we continue this discussion. >> it might be one of many movies that will take on the story of the decade long hunt for osama bin laden. >> they are awaiting oscar results and dealing with controversy at the same time. you can continue to watch for updates all the time on our 24- hour news network. check our local listings for the number. you can find as atwitter. from all of us, thank you so much for watching. tune in tomorrow.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you?
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>> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles. >> bbc
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: joined by children and families of those killed in the newtown massacre, president obama today unveiled the most ambitious effort to stem gun violence in at least two decades. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the "newshour" tonight, we detail the president's proposals, including bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and offer some perspective in a wide- ranging roundtable discussion. >> brown: then, margaret warner talks with retired u.s. general stanley mcchrystal about his command of the war in afghanistan and his new book "my share of the task." >> the afghan people are terrified. they're scared they're going to have their allies leave, their government is weak and that there's a chance they will slide back into not just taliban control but potentially civil war. >> suarez: on tonight's daily download, we look back at the 2012 election and ahead to the


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